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he notices, and the Chinese phrases which he suggests as more idiomatic. No persons are better aware of the imperfections which are found in these versions than the missionaries who use them in their work. But they believe that they in the main, give a faithful translation of the original Scriptures. They do not say that they are perfect, or that they do not need revision. But when the writer says, that those who use these versions and express the opinion that they are a fair translations of the original Scriptures, are doing that which "is nothing short of falsehood and fraud" he uses language which places his communication outside of courteous journalism. Mr. E. H. Parker continues the account of his excursions in Szch'uan in which he gives interesting statements as to the productions of that province and the customs of the people.

The article which will be read with most interest by most readers is the one by Mr. F. H. Balfour, on

Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan. Vol. IX., Part III., Yokohama,

December 1881.

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the Emperor Cheng, Founder of the Chinese Empire. Of the papers referred to the department of Notes and Queries, the one worth special attention is the one by Mr. J. J. M. de Groot, on Chinese oaths in Western Borneo and Java. Now when Chinese are resident in so many Christian countries it is a question of very great importance how they are to be sworn when called upon to give evidence in courts of law. Mr. Groot presents the statement that heaven and earth are the chief divinities recognized by all the Chinese, and that they all recognize the solemnity of an oath by these divinities. He states that this is the form of oath used in the Dutch courts in Western Borneo. He testifies that the results of this form of oath has been satisfactory in these courts. He argues that therefore this form of oath should be used everywhere when it is neces cessary in Christian states to administer an oath to any of the Chinese residents in those lands.

The History of Japanese Costume; II. Armour. By J. Couder.

The "Teachings for the Young" is not a Japanese reprint of Confucius' book for youth, but it is said to be compiled by a Buddhist priest Much of it is compiled from Chinese authors, and with the instruction from these sources is mixed up much from Buddhist authors. The other Papers give clear statements of the subjects they discuss.

China Imperial Maritime Customs. 11. Special Series, No. 4. Opium.

port, or leave the port for the interior
I am, Sir, Your obedient servant,
ROBERT HART,
Inspector General."
To the Commissioner of Customs.

THE previous numbers of this series are No. 1. Native Opium, 1864. No. 2. Medical Reports, 1871. No. 3. Silk, 1881. This number is a very valuable compilation of statements made to the Inspectoral General in answer to a circular letter addressed

to them as follows:

"Inspectorate General of Customs, Peking, 10th July, 1879.

SIR,

I enclose a form of return concerning opium-smoking, which you will please to fill up after making such inquiries at your port as shall ensure correctness in the information you send me. 2. You will observe that what is wanted is 1°. To ascertain how many catties of boiled or prepared opium can be obtained from 100 catties of the drug in the crude condition in

which it arrives in China. 2°. To ascertain the price of 100 catties of unprepared opium after paying import duty, and the price of the same 100 catties when converted into catties of prepared opium. 3°. To ascertain what weight of prepared opium is smoked daily, (a) by beginners, (b) by average smokers, and (c) by heavy smokers. 4°. To ascertain how many pipes one mace of prepared opium will furnish

(1 catty=160 mace). 5. To ascertain the price of one mace of prepared opium at the retail shops or smoking rooms. 6. To give the total quantity of each kind of unprepared opium of foreign origin imported last year at your port. 70. To ascertain the total quantity of unprepared opium of native origin, said to be produced, (a) in your province, and (b) in all China. 8. to ascertain the general opinion as to the length of time, months or years. a man must smoke before the habit takes such a hold on him as to be very difficult, if not impossible, to be given up. 9°. To ascertain the sum total of the charges and taxes to which 100 catties of opium are liable after paying import duty, before being legally able to go into consumption at the

We have copied this circular letter in extenso because it covers the whole ground of inquiry and may well serve as a guide to any others who make investigations on this important subject.

A very important part of the pamphlet is the Introductory Note by the Inspector General in which is summarized the result of the statements given in answer to these questions as to the whole quantity of opium imported into China, the amount of the native growth, the average quantity consumed by each smoker, and the number of people that smoke the drug. The estimated number of smokers is less than it has been hitherto estimated. There is a wide-spread feeling that there is some fallacy in the manner of arriving at this number. One very obvious omission in making the calculation is that no account is taken of the refuse which remains from the smok ing of the prepared opium. This is stated by one who smokes the drug, to be about one-third of what is put into the pipe. We have been promised an examination of the subject by one who has given much attention to the subject. We ask our readers to wait the appearance of his paper.

False Gods: or the Idol Worship of the World. A complete History of idolatrous worship throughout the world, ancient and modern. Describing the strange beliefs, practices, superstitions, temples, idols, shrines, sacrifices, domestic peculiarities, etc., etc., connected therewith. By Frank S. Dobbins, late of Yokohama, Japan. The whole profusely illustrated. Hubbard Brothers Publishers, Philadelphia, Boston, &c., &c.

WE have given the full title of this our readers a correct idea of what book, as the better way of giving to expect to find it. As every one

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ground it professes to go over it is intended more for popular use than for critical investigation. It will be found very useful by those for whom it was specially prepared. It will have special interest to all missionaries, as showing how completely all nations had forgotten the true God and made to themselves false gods according to the imagination of their hearts. The great work of the missionary is to make known to the various nations the God of Creation who has reveal

may suppose, from the extended | ed himself more fully to men in his Word and by his son Jesus Christ, whom he has given to be the Saviour of the world as well as its Teacher. He is the Light of the world. This book will deepen in the heart of every reader the conviction of how great is the darkness which is in the world. It is very fully illustrated with representations of heathen gods and the various objects of worship. May the day soon come when "all these imges shall be cast to the moles and the bats" and the glorious light of the gospel fill every land.

Journal of the North-China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1881. New Series, Vol. XVI.

THIS volume is made up of four articles, and a page of miscellaneous. Of these Dr. Bretschneider's on Chinese Botany alone occupies 212 pages. The learned anthor says at the beginning of this article "I am neither a Sinologue nor Botanist, my knowledge of Chinese as well as of Botany being quite limited." With this modest estimate we doubt if all will agree. Of the remaining three, two are written by Mr. H. B. Guppy, M.B. The first is entitled "Notes on the Hydrology, of the Yang-tsze, the

Yellow River and the Peiho,” and the second "Some Notes on the Geology of Takow, Formosa." The last article in the volume is by Rev. Father M. Dechevrens, S.J., entitled "The Climate of Shanghai. Its Meteorological Condition," which will be read with interest by dwellers in the Model Settlement. Given in gratis are four pages of "errata." found in Dr. H. Fitsche's article on "The Climate of Eastern Asia," to be had in Vol. XII., 1877. Better late than never.

For Sale at the Mission Press, A Concordance of the New Testament in Chinese, by Rev. H. V. Noyes, 200 pp. white paper, $0.40 per copy.

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THE PERPETUITY OF CHINESE INSTITUTIONS.
BY S. WELLS WILLIAMS, Esq., D.D., LL.D.

No. 2

AMONG the points relating to the Chinese people which have

attracted the attention of students in human history, their long duration and literary institutions have probably taken precedence. To estimate the causes of the first requires much knowledge of the second, and from them one is gradually led on to an examination of the government, religion, and social life of this people in the succeeding epoch of their existence. The inquiry will reveal much that is instructive, and show us that, if they have not equaled many other nations in the arts and adornments of life, they have attained a high position in its comforts, and developed much that is creditable in education, government, and security of life and property.

As results must have their proportionate causes, one wishes to know what are the reasons for the remarkable duration of the Chinese people. Why have not their institutions fallen into decrepitude, and this race given place to others during the forty centuries it claims to have existed? Is it owing to the geographical isolation of the land, which has prevented other nations easily reaching it? Or have the language and literature unified and upheld the people whom they have taught? Or, lastly, is it a religious belief and the power of a ruling class working together, which has brought about the security and freedom now seen in this thrifty, industrious, and practical people? Probably all these causes have conduced to this end, and our present object is to outline what seems to have been their mode of operation.

It may be remarked, in limine, that we wish to examine this subject in the belief of the personal rule of an Almighty Governor over the nations of the earth-One who not only has made of one blood all nations, and determined the times before appointed, and the bounds • Reprinted from The North American Review at the request of the Author.-EDITOR.

of their habitation, but who also prolongs or cuts short their national life according to their moral condition and regard for justice, truth, and peace. The Bible clearly furnishes the only adequate explanation of God's government of nations as distinct communities, and its declarations give us both light and arguments in the study and appreciation of Chinese character and civilization. We hardly need say, too, that the ignorance of its people of that Book, and of the existence and attributes of God, the sanctions of his law, and their own relations to his government here and hereafter, adds a feature of peculiar interest to this inquiry.

The position of their country has tended to separate them from other Asiatic races, even from very early tinies. It compelled them to work out their own institutions without any hints or modifying interference from abroad. They seem, in fact, to have had no neighbors of any importance until about the Christian era, up to which time they occupied chiefly the basin of the Yellow River, or the nine northern provinces as the empire is now divided. Till about B.c. 220, feudal states covered this region, and their quarrels ouly ended by their subjection to Tsin Chi Hwang-ti, or the Emperor First, whose strong hand molded the people as he led them to value security and yield to just laws. He thus prepared the way for the Emperors Wăn-ti (B.C. 179–156) and Wu-ti (B.c. 140-86), of the Han dynasty, to consolidate, during their long reigns of twenty-nine and fifty-four years, their schemes of good government.

The four northern provinces all lie on the south-eastern slope of the vast plateau of Central Asia, the ascent to which is confined to a few passes, leading up five or six thousand feet through mountain defiles to the sterile, bleak plains of Gobi. This great sandy region has always given subsistence to wandering nomads enough to enable traders to cross its grassy wastes. When their numbers increased, they burst their borders in periodical raids, ravaging and weakening those whom they were too few to conquer and too ignorant to govern. The Chinese were too unwarlike to keep these tribes in subjection for long, and never themselves colonized the region, though the attempt to ward off its perpetual menace to their safety, by building the Great Wall to bar out their enemies, proves how they had learned to dread them. Yet this desert waste has proved a better defense for China against armies coming from the basin of the Tarim River than the lofty mountains on its west did to ancient Persia and modern Russia. It was easier and more inviting for the Scythians, Huns, Mongols, and Turks successively to push their arms westward, and China thereby remained intact, even when driven within her own borders.

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